Home > News >

Steven Smith included in Australia squad as cover for Michael Clarke

Steven Smith included in Australia squad as cover for Michael Clarke

Steven Smith has played seven Tests for Australia, the most recent being during February’s tour of India © PTI

Sydney: Jun 24, 2013

Amid Australia‘s concerns about the fitness of captain Michael Clarke, all-rounder Steven Smith was added to the squad on Sunday for the Ashes Test series in England.

Star batsman Clarke’s longstanding back problem means he hasn’t played a competitive match since an ill-fated tour of India in March where Australia lost the Test series 4-0.

Clarke did not feature at all in the title-holders’ group stage exit from the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, won by India in a dramatic five-run victory over England in a rain-affected final at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Smith will join the 16-man squad on Monday, ahead of Australia’s first-class tour opener against Somerset this week, and remain until at least the second Test at Lord’s.

But while his hopes of playing in the Ashes increased, those of Fawad Ahmed receded after it was revealed the Pakistan-born leg-spinner would return from the UK to Australia on Monday in order to complete his citizenship.

Australia are effectively missing two batsmen at present with Clarke injured and opener David Warner suspended until the start of the first Test in Nottingham on July 10 following his bar-room attack on England’s Joe Root earlier this month.

In a statement issued by Cricket Australia, John Inverarity, the national selector, said: “The NSP (National Selection Panel) advises that Steven Smith has been added to the Australian Ashes squad until the beginning of the Second Test when it will be reviewed.

“Given David Warner is unavailable for the upcoming tour games against Somerset and Worcestershire and while Michael Clarke continues to make good progress from a back injury, we feel further batting cover is required,” former Australia batsman Inverarity added.

Smith has played seven Tests and was a member of the Australian side that lost the most recent Ashes series 3-1 on home soil in 2010/11.

He made 133 for Australia A in their win over Ireland last week but managed just 10 and nought in Bristol this week.

Ahmed managed just two wickets from two tour matches for Australia A, against Ireland and Gloucestershire, and returned figures of none for 80 on Sunday in a match attended by Inverarity and Australia Test coach Mickey Arthur.

The 31-year-old played three Sheffield Shield games for Victoria late last season and took 16 wickets at 28.37, bringing him to the notice of Australian selectors and retired leg-spin great Shane Warne.

But only last week Inverarity, speaking to the BBC, said that if Ahmed played in the Ashes, “the pressure on him will be extraordinary”.

And the fact on Sunday saw Australia also add teenage spinner Ashton Agar to their Ashes squad, albeit as a “development player”, was a further blow to Ahmed’s hopes of making his Test debut in England.

Fawad Ahmed will return to Australia tomorrow (Monday) while he goes through the processes required of him to become an Australian citizen and remains a player of interest to the National Selection Panel,” Inverarity said in Sunday’s CA statement.

“Ashton Agar is to accompany the Ashes Squad until the beginning of the Second Test as a development player.

England will be bidding for a third straight Test series win over Australia — something they last managed in the 1950s — when the five-match Ashes series starts at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge ground.

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

South Africa win series against Sri Lanka 1-0; move to No 1 in ICC Test rankings

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 2 at Southampton: India end Day 2 at 25/1, trail by 544 runs

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Pankaj Singh and other Test cricketers from Rajasthan

Mike Griffith: My choice of Mike Gatting as President of MCC was all about timing

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Kevin Pietersen says boos from Australian crowd will spur him during BBL

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Ian Bell dedicates ton to grandfather who passed away recently

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler adds excitement to England batting, feels Michael Atherton

Mahela Jayawardene: Regret ending Test career without win in Australia

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Moeen Ali wears ‘Save Gaza’ band: Instances where cricketers made political statements on the field

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler’s blitz, Ian Bell’s century and other highlights from Day 2

India’s many dropped catches at slips against England

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

OnePlus One headed to India: Here’s why it is a flagship killer

IAF receives 6th C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

Weightlifter Vikas Thakur wins 12th silver for India in the Commonwealth Games 2014

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Clicked: Deepika Padukone on a cruise-view pic!

Eid-ul-Fitr 2014: 7 practices that are followed on the Feast of Breaking the Fast

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler adds excitement to England batting, feels Michael Atherton

Ranbir Kapoor becomes an emcee for a music streaming portal!

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Ian Bell dedicates ton to grandfather who passed away recently

US senator to propose strong curbs on NSA phone data collection

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here